Step 3: Build Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn profile is your online presence. It is a platform that peers and employers can use to contact you that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. If you haven’t already, sign up and set up your profile as completely as possible. I’m just going to cover a few specific and very important points that people tend to overlook.

 

Basic Setup

 

  • Re-order your sections so that Certifications are on top. This way your CCNA and CCNP certifications will be highly visible at first glance
  • Don’t include any jobs that are unrelated to Networking in the Experience section unless it’s impressive or demonstrates skills/traits that would be useful in Networking
  • Edit your Public Profile settings so that as many things as possible are visible

 

Profile Picture

 

Upload a sharp, charismatic image of yourself. Try to look heroic. When people view your page, you want to be seen as a real and relatable person rather than another faceless user on the Internet.

 

Connections

 

Log into LinkedIn regularly and check the “People You May Know” section. Add everyone you know, as long as you have interacted with them. Your goal is to increase the size of your network as large as possible.

Regularly search for IT technical recruiters and add them. When you do, they’ll add you back, check out your profile, and consider if any of the jobs they have would fit your level of skill and experience. It’s all about increasing your exposure and getting all up in people’s faces so they don’t forget your existence.

 

Recommendations

 

A Recommendation on LinkedIn is a blurb that someone writes that appears on your Profile. If someone (especially a reputable someone) is willing to go out of their way to write something nice about you, that’s a REALLY good sign. When you’re working, develop good relationships with your peers and managers. Then when it comes time, ask them (in person if possible) if they would do you a favor and write you a Recommendation on LinkedIn. Asking for something might be hard for you, but consider that it only takes a few seconds and would pay off for your entire career.

Do not waste an opportunity to get a Recommendation!

 

How LinkedIn Helped Me

 

I started doing all of the above the year before I graduated. It became a habit for me to check LinkedIn for new connections to add on a regular basis. After about two years of working and updating my Experience, a recruiter that I had never talked to previously messaged me on LinkedIn asking if I would be interested in a 3 month contract making a lot. I was somewhat hesitant at first because 3 months seemed risky, but I went with it and got the job after a successful interview. I thought it was pretty incredible that I got such a high paying contract without even applying for it.

That is just one of many examples of how LinkedIn benefited me.

To continue on about the next step, click here.